Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Approver, an accomplice in crime who accuses others of the same offence, and is admitted as a witness at the discretion of the Court to give evidence against his companions in guilt. He is vulgarly called "Queen's Evidence." His testimony must necessarily be of an unsatisfactory nature, and the practice is for judges to leave it to juries, with the direction not to believe it unless corroborated in some material particular by independent untainted testimony. If he fails to give full information, or equivocates, he may be proceeded against and punished on his own confession. The same practice prevails in Scotland, the term applicable to approver being "Socius criminis," but the practice so far differs from that in England that absolute protection is accorded to the "Socius" after proper warning that what he says cannot be used against him. Also a term applied to bailiffs of lords in their franchises, and sheriffs were called the King's Approvers in an act of Edward III.